Farhana, Princess of Hollywood

    Princess Farhana is a captivating performer with a hefty bag of tricks (her abdominal work is extraoardinary).  Over three decades of performing has created a great stage presence with many costumes and personas to offer.  But more than this, she is one of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet (or read about).  In addition … Read more

Dancer, Mother and Astrophysicist Jatila

 While she knew she was a dancer at the age of 3, it took years of begging her mother before finally learning the varied dance forms of Ballet, Flamenco, and Bharata Natyam.  She discovered and fell in love with Bulgarian music and dance in the late 90s with Yves Moreau, just a few years before learning … Read more

Donavon and his history in Arabic Drumming

Ojai Bellydance Festival attracts many amazing, kindhearted musicians and dancers to its charming oasis in Southern California.  While I was pleasantly surprised at how many new people from Ojai I met, it was a treat to spend a few minutes with one of Los Angeles’ own treasures, the arabic percussionist Donavon Lerman. Donavon is well known in … Read more

Marta Schill on 1970s Los Angeles Bellydance

Years ago in one of my favorite bookstores (Book Barn in Niantic, CT), I picked up a copy of the Compleat Bellydancer by Julie Russo Mishkin and Marta Schill.  I loved it for its beautiful pictures and as a snapshot into American bellydance history.  It harkened the time before instructional DVDs and Youtube, even before VHS or CDs!  Published … Read more

Backstage at “A Taste of Los Angeles Bellydance”

Last Saturday January 21st, was the premiere event for the new Los Angeles chapter of MECDA (Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association).  It may have been called “Taste of Los Angeles Bellydance” but we all left satiated.    There was over 8 hours of performances and workshops by Devilla, Heather Shoopman, Mandala Danceworks, Princess Farhana and … Read more

Ayse Cerami and 9/8 Improv Tribal Fusion

Ayse and I have both danced with Medianoche Dance Company, just not at the same time.  So I’m happy that I got to know her at the last Tribal Fusion Faire in San Luis Obisbo, CA.  We both share a love for 9/8 rhythms, Turkish dance, Folk dance, Tribal Fusion dance, American Tribal Style (ATS) … Read more

Alexandru and I met at an International folk dance cooperative, Cafe AMAN where we quickly bonded in our love for music and dance.  He has a rich history of professional dancing and teaching.  We discuss learning dance in Moldavia,  teaching dance all over the world and his broad knowledge of Argentine Tango, International Folk Dance, Romanian dances, and American dance styles … Read more

On Sunday October 16th Pasadena hosted The Taiko Center of Los Angeles (TCLA) for their Cultural Dance Festival.   Founded by Reverend Shuichi Thomas Kurai in 1996, TCLA’s two ensembles perform throughout Southern California and also in Japan. “Taiko”, which means drum in Japanese, percussionists are generally seen with smaller “Chu Daiko” or very large “O … Read more

Two Stepping in Texas

 Sometimes something so simple can open you up to new possibilities.  Learning to Two Step at The Broken Spoke in Austin was a good lesson in following and letting go.  While in Austin, Texas my family and I hit up the Broke Spoke for a dance lesson which is offered every night before the live … Read more

I’ve spent countless hours on learning new and familiar dance styles.  Even while learning to layer chest drops on top of a shimmy on top of a grapevine while keeping rhythm with finger cymbals, I haven’t felt that the summit was so high as I do with partner dance.  Its a very exciting and intriguing … Read more